Young locals have been recognised for their outstanding efforts in this year's Waipā Youth Awards – announced online for the first time in their 18-year history.

The annual awards celebrate achievement in academia, arts and culture, community service, leadership and sport.

The awards night was cancelled due to restrictions around mass gatherings earlier in the year.

Instead, head students from Te Awamutu College, Cambridge High School and St Peter's, Cambridge featured in a video announcing the top award winners.

Students contributed to the creation of the film by working together with the Waipā District Council on the video script, sourcing props and choosing filming locations.

Waipā mayor Jim Mylchreest said the video was a great way to recognise the efforts of young people and the positive impact they had in Waipā.

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St Peter's head boy Jamal Roberton and Te Awamutu College head girl Kate Yarndley film for the awards video. Photo / Supplied.
St Peter's head boy Jamal Roberton and Te Awamutu College head girl Kate Yarndley film for the awards video. Photo / Supplied.

"Following the cancellation of the awards night, we wanted to make sure our exceptional young people and their contribution to our schools and communities was still celebrated. The video concept was a wonderful way to do this," says Jim.

This year's excellence recipients are:

• Academic category: Bert Downs – Te Awamutu College
• Arts and Culture category (joint winners): Miranda McArthur and Molly Robinson – St Peter's Cambridge
• Community Service category (joint winners): Georgia Peattie and Nina Sardelich - Cambridge High School
• Leadership category: Ella Higgins – Cambridge High School
• Sports category: Charlisse Leger-Walker – St Peter's Cambridge
• Multi-Achiever category: Charlisse Leger-Walker – St Peter's Cambridge

Organisations contributing to and supporting this year's awards include the University of Waikato, Te Awamutu and Cambridge Rotary, Cambridge Lions, CMYK, Construction Advantage Ltd, Storey Sport and Business Networking International.

This year's awards attracted 109 nominations, with 65 awards handed out. The awards were open to students aged 14-18 who live or have attended school in Waipā.

To view the video and see the full list of award winners, head to waipadc.govt.nz/youthawards.